Mental Health Care Providers: 5 Money Saving Tips
As a mental health care provider, you are constantly striving to make your business run as smoothly as possible so that you can provide the best service to your patients. Part of ensuring that you can spend as many of your resources as possible on actual treatment is running a cost effective office. Saving costs means saving time and resources that can be passed on to you, your employees, and your patients. Here are five tips on how you and your fellow health care providers can save money.
1. Hire a medical billing company
Any healthcare provider knows that medical billing can be one of the most time consuming and tedious aspects of running a practice. Communicating with insurance companies to determine coverage for a patient and staying current on accounts receivable can mean countless calls and attempts to have bills paid. Questions about billing from patients can also take time and energy to field. Hiring a billing company can greatly help reduce the hours and thus money that you pay for billing and accounting.
2. Shop around for office space
One major overhead cost that all health care providers face is paying rent for their office. If your rent is high, consider looking around at other spaces in the area. Remember that for most patients, location is more important than how large or elaborate the office itself is. You may even be able to find a slightly smaller unit in the complex you are currently in.
3. Consider sharing a space with another practice
Having flexibility when it comes to scheduling patients can be a great way to save money. If you can work with another therapist who is also open to staggered scheduling, such as having all of his or her patients on certain days of the week or only in the mornings, you may be able to work in the same space and share certain costs, such as rent or any other similar fees. If you work alone, you may also want to consider working with a partner. This will allow you to split all overhead costs, like staffing.
4. Use electronic documents whenever possible
Electronic documents are much better for the environment, and also beneficial to your practice’s wallet. By switching to electronic, you eliminate the costs of paper and other related supplies, like staplers, white out, and printer ink, which can add up to be quite costly. Going electronic also saves hours and money for your staff because electronic documents are much more easy to organize and highly searchable, so finding key information can happen much more quickly. Destroying confidential information, which also often requires cumbersome paper shredders, can start to happen in the click of a button when information is all saved electronically.
5. Buy second hand furniture
When looking for new furnishings for your office, hit the Salvation Army. Many thrift stores have excellent, high quality furnishings that look brand new and can be bought for extremely low prices. You can also decorate with items found at thrift or consignment stores. Plant holders, picture frames, and even art work are all generally available at extremely low costs when they are used. Rather than subscribing to magazines for the waiting room, you may also be able to provide your patients with second hand reading material. Ask your office staff to bring in any old books or magazines that they were going to give away. You can easily blackout private addresses on magazines with a Sharpie marker.
Little money saving tips like this may seem small, but over the course of a long career, they can offer major savings!